For further information about the Caring Community, please contact Chair Alicia Sullivan or call her at 751-2541 x116.
Reference materials from the Caring for Your Aging Loved One series are available to download:
Caring Community Documents
Caring For Your Aging Loved One – Who Knew? Instructions Not Included
Are you involved with aging or ill parents or loved ones? Are you unsure if the changes you’re observing are “signs”, and if so, of what? Do you worry you have what it takes to be supportive through one of life’s greatest challenges? Do you often feel isolated and alone?
Two years ago, four congregants were brought together at a program called “Parenting your Parents” sponsored by the Caring Community. Perry Lisker, a social worker at CPMC, with an elderly mother in LA, was on the panel. Jeanie Schram and Ditka Reiner were in attendance and shared their parental issues with each other. Ditka’s mother was failing and lived in Connecticut. Jeanie’s 90-year-old parents lived in Santa Rosa; her mother was also failing and her father was overwhelmed with his growing role as caregiver and his own health issues. Alicia Sullivan, Caring Community Chair, helped organize the original panel. Like Lisker and Schram, she’s in “the sandwich generation,” with elderly parents on the East Coast and teenage/young adult children.
The Oys and Joys
We felt an absence in our congregation of a connection for people on this journey. What did the four of us feel most in need of? What had we learned? How could we help others? Yes, there was intense aloneness, feelings of loss, fear and confusion, conflicts. There was also the birth of new relationships with our parents, pride in role modeling for our children, new knowledge that would help us be responsible and make informed decisions about our own aging.
The Most Difficult Conversation
Rabbis say that confronting issues of aging are the most difficult conversations to have; no one wants to talk about it and often the challenges seem overwhelming. We felt the same and decided to put together a program to start that conversation no matter your age, experience, or individual need.
What, Where, When…and for Whom
Challenges of Caring for the Elderly is a six-session program to address those issues. We will meet every other week beginning March 5, 2013. The format is a one-hour presentation by a diverse panel of experts, followed by 1-1/2 hours of Q&A. Each session will have an Emanu-El rabbi participating. Food (of course!) will be available at 5:45 pm and the panel will begin promptly at 6:00 pm. The program is free to members of Congregation Emanu-El and online registration is required.
Our primary goal is to create a place where it’s comfortable to ask the difficult questions, meet others with similar experiences, and/or learn what is available and who can help. This is a pilot program—you will help determine what comes next.
Topics and Schedule
- March 5: Challenges of Aging and Illness on Loved Ones and Family
- March 19: What to Consider When Making Decisions about Your Loved One’s Needs?
- April 9: Resources and Emotional Components of Caregiving
- April 23: Legal and Money Management Issues
- May 7: Medical Issues To Think About
- May 21: End of Life
Bring your thoughts, questions, insights. Or just bring yourself. We look forward to welcoming you and being with you. —Perry Lisker, Ditka Reiner, Jeanie Schram, and Alicia Sullivan.
Online registration for this program is now closed. Please contact Ruth Pepper at (415) 751-2541 x 170 or email@example.com with any questions.
Congregation Emanu-El’s Caring Community
Helping Our Homebound Congregants
Do you know someone in our Emanu-El community who is home due to an illness, an injury, or limited mobility? The Caring Community reaches out to these congregants in an effort to provide practical or emotional support or simply a note or phone call to let the congregant know that the community cares. We also visit congregants in the Jewish Home and other senior facilities.
If you know someone who would benefit from these services please contact your neighborhood liaison or Julie Mayer at firstname.lastname@example.org. We depend on referrals from our community and would love to reach out to anyone in need.
We could also use more volunteers for our committee. With our growing congregation and aging community, you can make a difference and do a mitzvah for the congregation and for yourself. Please contact Julie Mayer at (415) 665-1838 or email@example.com for more information.
Caring Community and Jewish Federation Align to
Transport Senior Congregants to Shabbat Services
A major long term goal of Congregation Emanu-El’s Caring Community came to fruition on the evening of December 16, 2011: transporting our cherished senior congregants to services. Due to frailty, inability to drive, parking challenges, or vision, these long-time members could no longer participate in evening worship. In the past, Caring Community leaders tried to organize rides for our members, but were unable to line up enough volunteer drivers.
Thanks to the leadership of Chair Alicia Sullivan, and Director of Membership Services Terry Kraus, we were able to launch a pilot program with the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco to address this concern. A meeting was held with Federation Senior Program Officer Laura Mason to investigate the possibility of financial support to secure professional transportation for any Emanu-El congregant age 80 and older who was living on his/her own. The Federation agreed to split the cost with the Caring Community as a pilot program with the understanding that we would discuss the possibility of ongoing financial support if the project was a success.
We continue to offer transportation to a monthly Shabbat service and to the evening High Holy Day services to those who would otherwise be unable to attend. For more information, please contact Alicia Sullivan or (415) 710-2701.
Seeking Babysitters and Child Care Providers
Whether you are a teen, parent or grandparent, our congregants are looking for child care help and we wish to reconnect them with you! If you are dependable, responsible, have a special interest in young children, and are safety conscious we would like to add you to our registry.
We will try to make introductions, whenever possible, between available babysitters and parents in need by neighborhood. So please add your name to our Temple-wide registry by contacting Ruth Pepper at firstname.lastname@example.org.